Pioneers Post
SE100 News

Vibrant sector defies downturn with powerful growth

11 July 2011
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This is a vibrant and entrepreneurial sector that is both growing and getting smarter

Tim West, founding editor, Social Enterprise

Social enterprises are flouting the fiscal gloom to grow faster than the rest of the UK economy, the latest RBS SE100 Index reveals today.

The index was set up last year by Social Enterprise and RBS to build intelligence and monitor performance of social enterprises in the UK.

It shows the top 100 fastest growing enterprises grew on average by 91%. Last year, the RBS SE100 Index enterprises showed an average growth of 79%.

Nick Hurd, minister for civil society, said: ‘The outstanding growth reported on this year’s index and an increase in the number of organisations who monitor their impact demonstrates the excellent, positive contribution that social enterprises make and will help boost private finance into the sector.’

The revenue growth of the FTSE100 in 2010 was around 5%, and the fastest recorded growth period of the UK’s small and medium sized enterprises in 2006 showed growth of 8.4%.

In comparison, the total combined revenue of the RBS SE100 top 100 enterprises grew by 51% and the revenue growth of all those on the index that submitted figures was 14%.

Tim West, founding editor of Social Enterprise, said: ‘This is a vibrant and entrepreneurial sector that is both growing and getting smarter, defying the downturn with innovative ways of delivering products and services that have value beyond the bottom line.’

As social enterprises are concerned not only with running sound businesses, but also making a positive impact on the world, index participants also reported how they recorded and communicated their social impact.

Nearly three quarters of those who supplied their impact data said they had a public statement about their impact and the impact leaders on the index are using this data to improve services and win millions of pounds worth of business.

Peter Ibbetson, chairman, small business, RBS, said: 'The SE100 helps us demonstrate the unique role this sector plays in terms of its social impact and rapidly increasing contribution to the UK economy.'

Other key findings include:

• 45% of senior management team members of Index participants are women. Only 12.5% of directors on FTSE 100 boards were women at the end of 2010, according to Cranfield School of Management.

• The average growth of the start-up enterprises on the Index was 5,490%, compared with 120% last year. The median growth for this group was 81%, up from 35% last year.

• Environment and recycling, health and social care, and employment and training were the sectors that reported the highest growth figures.

• The average profit for enterprises on this year’s index was £110,000, an increase of 26% from £87,000 the previous year. Of those who reported on their profitability, 185 posted a profit and 79 made a loss.

Read all this and more in The RBS SE100 Data Report 2011.

Download the publication here.
Download the supplementary information including the top 100 growing social enterprises, the 50 largest social enterprises listed and the top 30 fastest growing newcomers here


Social Impact Partners